Fax machines, deck chairs and pick axes have all been pulled out of Nottingham’s canal after the sport of ‘magnet fishing’ arrived in the city.
The Leicester-based ‘New Magneteers’ group set up camp at the Nottingham and Beeston canal on Sunday, August 4.
Eleven anglers cast their magnets into the murky depths on the day – with a United Nations-issue lighter also being among the items found.
Ross Allard, 26, of Mansfield, who has been taking part in the sport since Christmas, spent his birthday throwing magnets into the water.
He said: “We spend hours and hours at a canal and as we move up it, we leave piles of what we’ve collected along the banks.
“Then when we’ve finished for the day we’ll go back along and clear everything up.
“We’ll either take things to the scrap yard, which is my job after today, or we’ll take anything dangerous to the police and anything valuable home.
“Today has been really good so far because at the last one we were at in Worksop we crossed about 25 bridges and collected absolutely nothing – but there’s been loads of stuff here.
“Someone’s found a car radio and we’ve also had a skateboard, a vintage clock and a bolt from a 1950s railway line.”
One of the event organisers was Steven Matts, 27, from Leicester, who said: “At our last meeting in Leicester we found three grenades and ended up shutting everything within a mile radius of us.
“We closed the Tesco and a pub down, so I was hoping we wouldn’t be doing anything like that today because this is my first time in Nottingham.
“These events end in either boredom or finding an explosive, in which case we pack up and phone the police.
“What we find tells you a lot about a place, and here in Nottingham today we’ve not found anything too dodgy, whereas when we were in Leicester we were finding bullets, bayonets and shotguns.”
As the day progressed, brake discs, windscreen wipers and bits of scaffolding were also pulled out of the water.
Steven added: “Some people who do magnet fishing give the rest of us a bad name because they don’t clean up after themselves, and so you go to some places and no one will touch you with a barge pole.
“Our primary aim when we’re doing this is to clean up the canals because there is so much junk that gets thrown in there – but then there’s also a lot of treasures that can be found which is another reason we love doing it.
“We had around 70 people at our last event so I do think it’s something that’s growing – it’s just a nice way to get out and meet people and you can end up having quite a proactive day.”